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Kerry Eastman

HR Advisor - Uckfield

5th May 2022

Employment Team Newsletter – Employment Law Round Up

Employment Team Newsletter – Employment Law Round Up

A monthly insight into current Employment Law matters.

In this month’s issue:

  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights.
  • Taking care with redundancy situations.

Stress Awareness Month – April 2022

Since 1992, April has been marked ‘Stress Awareness Month’. Its aim is to raise awareness of the causes and cures for this modern stress epidemic.

Over the past two years, people from across the world will have experienced their own stresses due to the loneliness and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why this year’s theme is Community.

Community is about having a sense of belonging and connection to others, as well as feeling supported and accepted by them. A lack of community can make people feel increasingly isolated and lonely which, in turn, has a negative impact on mental health.

The Stress Management Society provides free useful guides, posters and challenges that employers may find useful to display around the workplace. These can be found here: https://www.stress.org.uk/free-resources/

Human Rights Act Reform: A Modern Bill of Rights

This month the Government’s consultation in respect of its proposal to revise the existing Human Rights Act 1998 and replace it with a Bill of Rights ended.

The new Bill of Rights is expected to:

  • include laws that people will trust;
  • ensure the law doesn’t contradict other laws;
  • protect people’s basic rights; and
  • make sure people understand their responsibilities as well as their rights.

Whilst the existing Human Rights Act only protects workers in the public sector, employers must be mindful that many of its rights are incorporated into general employment law i.e.: the Equality Act 2010. By ensuring that policies and procedures are up to date, employers will demonstrate that they are committed to their workers’ rights.

Taking care with redundancy situations: New Case

Earlier this month a part-time in-house lawyer, Ms Long, won her direct discrimination claim against British Gas. After Ms Long’s job-share partner resigned, she was criticised for not working past her contracted hours and on her non-working days.

Ms Long was subsequently placed on a performance plan and then selected for redundancy. Among various other errors, she was given the lowest possible score on a redundancy matrix for ‘focus’.

The Employment Tribunal criticised this and stated that her part-time status and family responsibilities were being held against her.This decision is a timely reminder to employers of the importance of fair and objective scoring criteria in a redundancy process. Please contact a member of the team for more information on redundancy and selection criteria.

Reminder – what’s on the horizon:

  • Stronger protections against sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Flexible Working Bill (day one right).
  • Statutory Code of Practice: Fire & Rehire.
  • Carer’s Leave.
  • Extended protection from redundancy during pregnancy.

(all to be confirmed)

The GatekeeperHR team will update you as and when we know more.

We are here to help

Do you need support or advice on employment law? The GatekeeperHR team is here to help. GatekeeperHR is a fixed cost, employment law and HR retainer service which provides businesses with access to a dedicated team of experienced lawyers and HR professionals who you can speak to, or meet face-to-face, at any time. The service includes a full HR compliance audit, access to an online portal full of valuable employment law and HR resources and an annual training session on topics of your choosing. To find out more about GatekeeperHR, please visit: www.gatekeeperhr.co.uk or contact us

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